5 Reasons to fuel polish and clean tanks

5 Reasons to fuel polish and clean tanks
Diesel algae bugs

Dyed Diesel with bacteria and water – you should be able to see through the fuel

I often hear fleet managers, building property managers, engineers, mechanics, and others who manage fuel tanks and have been involved with fuel storage over many years ask “why fuel polish”? We never did that 20 years ago!

5 reasons to fuel polish and clean your tanks

1. Contained Tanks – The fuel tanks today are double walled and protect the environment from accidental spills of oil,gasoline and diesel fuels. If the inner tanks  fails the outer tank catches the product before it goes into the environment. 20 years ago single walled tanks were common and a single walled
tank had a spigot or valve at the bottom of the tank to let the water, sludge, algae in diesel and bacteria collected on the bottom to run out of the tank. Environmentally that wasn’t safe because if you forgot to close the lever all the fuel in the tank would run into the ground creating a spill. It was also a weak point in the tank.

Today the only way to access the tank to fuel polish and remove the water, algae in diesel, bacteria and sludge is to access the tank bottom from the top of the tank. This requires specialized equipment to clean fuel and that’s where a fuel polishing company like Fueltration Inc. comes in. We can take the contamination out of the tank and clean the fuel removing the algae in diesel, water and bacteria before it gets into your equipment.

2. Sulphur – Today in the interest of lessening air pollution our diesel fuels are low sulphur making them susceptible to bacteria, algae in diesel and other organisms. Bacteria, algae in diesel and fungus thrive in the low sulphur environment. There is more contamination with the sulphur removed as the bacteria create a friendly environment by  darkening the fuel, causing more condensation and therefore more water to be removed.

3. Ethanol – Ethanol was introduced to lower emissions in gasoline. Billed as clean fuel one drawback to Ethanol is that it attracts water.  When you have water you have the chemicals ( that the refineries put in the gasoline) dropping out of the fuel and running around the bottom of the tank like a big black blob. This can foul filters. There is also a fungus in fuel today that wasn’t there 20 years ago.Fuel polishing is necessary to remove all of these new contaminants.

4. Bio Fuels – Biofuels are very attractive to living organisms like bacteria and algae in diesel. The biofuels are friendly to the environment and are a food source for bacteria. Add water and you have the makings of a healthy colony of algae in diesel and bacteria.

5. Fire Codes – In the Fire codes both National and Provincial it says that all Emergency Generator Tanks over 900L must be a) have new fuel put in the tank b) full filtered (fuel polish) to remove particulate and in either case the tank bottom must be cleaned to remove contamination. You may be one of those mandated by the Fire Code.

Remember “tank” companies look after tanks and “Generator” companies service generators. Fuel polishing and tank cleaning companies like ours are experts in cleaning fuel and tanks.


Please contact me at info@fueltration.ca if you have any questions or corrections.